AT • WORK
JANUARY 1, 1937
1 A NEWS SHEET FOR. INDIANS
AND THE INDIAN SERVICE
WASHINGTON , V. C .
INDIANS AT .WORK
CONTENTS OF THE ISSUE OF JANUARY 1, 1937
Navajo Tribal Council Meeting
Indian Service Ship Takes Food To Alaska
Conference For Chief Clerks And Personnel Office
Educational Association Meetings
Thirty-Nine Months Of I.E.C.W
Indians Of The Middle West Organize
Recollections Of Two Presidents
History Of Forest Fires In The Little
John Collier 1
Woman 's Position At Zuni
An Example of Indian Indus triousness
The Rocky Boy 1 s Renegades
Tonawanda Reservation Doings
Indian Bee Keepers
The Educational Utilization Of Environment
Black Pinnacle Lookout At Navajo
Awahe Is Transf ormed
A Community Dance At Dunseith Day School . ■
Blackf eet Indians Build Attractive School .
The Open Door
Apache Fiddle s
From I.E.C.W. Reports
Robert J. Ballantyne .
Charlotte T. Westwood
Diego Abeita 17
R. King, Simon Firstshoot
Chief Talks Different . . 19
Ruth Benedict . 21
Frank B. Linderman 23
Robert Marshall 29
Robert J . Tahamont ..... 30
A. L. Hook 31
John H. Hoist 33
Horace Boardman 37
Robert Murray 39
K. W. Bergan 40
Frank George 42
Erik W. Allstrom 43
Merle Shover 46
MERCED RIVER AND SENTINEL ROCK IN WINTER - YO SEMITE NATIONAL PARK , CALIFORNIA
Photograph by National Park Service
Mi mmw Mm
VOLUME. IV- -JANUARY 1, 1937- ■ NUMBLR 10
Congress convenes January 5, "beginning another fateful
session for the Indians.
Looking back over the years, 1933-1936, Congress has
dealt fearlessly with the fundamental, century-old accumulation of
conflicts and persisting problems. You all know the highlights of.
these past few years — the final settlement in the Pueblo Lands
Board awards; the Indian Reorganization Act, with its complete re-
orientation of Indian administration, encompassing within its vari-
ous provisions so many basic objectives; the Arts and Crafts Bill;
the repeal of the ancient espionage laws; and a host of other leg-
islative acts of benefit to particular tribes.
But the job is not yet complete. Congress in 1936 faces
great problems affecting the Indians' future, which call for a con-
tinuation of its probing analysis, its willingness to go to the
bottom of present-day maladjustments.
What are the principal subjects which call for the atten-
tion of Congress in the session just ahead?
Here I mention only three:
Indian Claims ; This vexacious, persistent residuum of
over a hundred years of history. It weighs upon the Indian mind;
it weighs upon the conscience of the American people. Our present
system of settling these age-old wrongs is calculated, wilfully
or not, to cheat the Indians in the end. Immediate justice is im-
perative, not only because the indemnities are justified, hut also
because the efforts of the Indian Service in all of its rehabili-
tating activities are doomed to failure unless Indians can be quick-
ly and adequately assured a method of settling their just claims
against the Government. The measure which was introduced in Con-
gress last year received most favorable treatment in the hands of
both Indian committees. There is every right to expect that the
support of the committees will see the measure through the coming
Indian Tribal Funds ; A record of dissipation, «of huge
funds thrown away in per caoita payments or unjustly appropriated
to pay administrative expenses. Grea.t fortunes have disappeared,
representing for the Indian tribes their racial birthright - their
lands, their forests, their water resources. These resources have
been translated into money, and the money frittered away, purchas-
ing for the Indians only a moment of relief from starvation. To
put the funds yet to their credit in the Treasury at work, so that
they may be used to build up the Indians' economic life, and to
translate these resources into permanent improvements, remains a
problem insistently calling for the attention of Congress.
The Navajo Boundar y: A great area which rightfully he-
longs to the Navajos, has, across fifty years, been steadily denied
them. It is an area which has "been immemorially occupied "by the
Navajos. It is an area preponderantly occupied hy the Navajo s to-
day. It is an area where the Indians priority rights are paramount
over the rights of all others. Last July, at the suggestion of the
New Mexico Senators, Senators Thomas and Frazier probed the problems
to its roots. The solution, incorporated in the Bill prepared by
the De-Dartraent, has crossed over from the domain of "senatorial
courtesy" , and is now in the hands of the whole Senate Indian Af-
fairs Committee. The Nava.jos await the decision of the whole com-
mittee. The voluminous record of the hearings will be published
soon. The Navajos 1 case has been documented and proved from a. hun-
dred different approaches. If the decision of Congress rests upon
the record, the Navajos need have no fear of the outcome.
In later issues of "Indians At Work" , I shall deal with
other subjects demanding the attention of Congress.
Stati st ics . There is no mystery about statistics. For
ordinary purposes they are nothing except a persevering application
of arithmetical measurement to one's work and one's results. Here
is an example I came upon on a Mountain states reservation this
Rodent control work had been pressed since 1933. It had
cost to date 11 cents for each acre treated. (This was "extensive"
control - an effort to sweep the "varmints" out from the whole range.)
To he made temporarily effective (i. e. , effective for
about six years) the acreage cost must be increased to 18 cents.
The rodents, before the warfare was started, consumed
from 2-| to 5 per cent of the vegetative yield annually.
The rental value of the lands in question was 5 cents
So the rodents were achieving a damage, at its peak, of
5 per cent of 5 cents per acre per year, or 2z mills. (This,
on the assumption that the rodents were exclusively a damaging
factor, an assumption disputed by Indians and ecologists alike.).
Six years 1 protection from rodents, at a cost of 18 cent.s
per acre; maximum rodent damage in six years, if no extermination
were done, 15 mills. The cost (not hypothetical at all) was
twelve times the hypothetical or hoped-for benefit. Over $20,000
had been spent before anybody sat down to make this easy and en-
Simple statistics are worth while.
We have particularly welcomed the chief clerks and per-
sonnel clerks at the Washington Office during the week past (De-
cember 7-12). They say they have learned much. So have we.
Commissioner Of Indian Affairs
NAVAJO TRIBAL COUNCIL MEETING
On November 24th, the Navajo Tribal Council meeting in the Window
Sock council house, considered and passed four resolutions, including one di-
rected toward reorganization and strengthening of the present tribal council
and one surroorting the land management program for the reservation. Commis-
sioner Collier and James M. Stewart, Director of Land for the Indian Service,
attended the meeting.
The Navajo Tribal Coiincil was organized in 1923 under regulations
adopted by the Department of the Interior for the sole purpose of making oil
and gas leases in behalf of the tribe. It is now felt that the tribe should
have a council that will have more jurisdiction and that will more completely
represent the opinions of the Navajo people.
The selection of such a council from 50,000 Navajos scattered over
17,000,000 acres is a task. The first sten in the formation of the new coun-
cil was the appointment of the incumbent executive committee and two former
council chairmen to seek out the wisest leaders in each community and chapter.
These leaders will serve as delegates to a const itiitional assembly which will
consider and adopt a constitution and by-laws for the Navajo people. Already
the newly-aptiointed committee is busy at its new job. By the time the assembly
is called, probably within the next two or three months, all Navajos should
realize that the occasion is one of the most important in their history. That
they will grasp its significance and designate their wisest leaders to repre-
sent them is the hope and the belief of the Commissioner and his reservation
assistants. That they will profit by the more complete representation and
greater voice given them in tribal affairs is certain.
Council reorganization thus efficiently begun, the members in ses-
sion next turned their attention to one of the most important problems facing
the Navajo people: that of land management. In common with all people whose
live stock and farm products are basic and direct sources of welfare, Navajos
must preserve their soil and water resources if they are to "hold their own"
or improve their lot.
It is true that the Navajo population has been and is still increas-
ing at a more rapid rate than white American population. But it is also true
that the pressure for land, the pressure of other contemporary civilizations,
is so overwhelming that the Navajos cannot hope to meet their land problem
simply by expanding their acreage. That their land resources have been and
are being extensively depleted is, therefore, a serious proolem.
Many of them recognize this fact. The Government has long recog-
nized it. To help meet the emergency, nineteen land management districts, with
boundaries tentatively determined, were recently designated within the reserva-
tion. As they are essentially grazing districts, the Navajos realize that
their nomadic movements may to some extent "be restricted by the district ar-
rangement. They know, too, that stock adjustments within the districts must
be made and maintained. The question is not one of what must be done but how
to do it.
Council members, understanding these facts, backed their knowledge
with a resolution supporting the establishment of land management districts
and recommending that members of the tribe living in each district organize
in order to "take part in the making of local management plans." By so doing,
the Navajos have the opportunity to assist in the development of a land manage-
ment program specifically adapted to the local needs. If they should fail to
work with the Government agencies in the development of a local land manage-
ment program, the Navajos would simply remain subject to the general depart-
mental grazing regulations, which are less flexible and less adaptable to
INDIAN SERVICE SHIP TAKES FOOD TO ALASKA
Due to the maritime strike on the Pacific coast, the Territory of
Alaska has been without transportation facilities for more than a month and
has been cut off from its source of food supplies, which are customarily sent
out from Seattle weekly by commercial steamers. Passenger transportation has
also been at a standstill and very little mail has moved between Alaska and
To meet the emergency, the Secretary of the Interior, through
Colonel Otto F. Ohlson, General Manager of the Alaska Railroad, entered in-
to arrangements with the striking maritime workers to permit loading of two
ships to be sent to Alaska to relieve the emergency. One is the Indian Ser-
vice motorship "Boxer", which left Seattle on November 30 with the first boat
load of food stuffs sent to Alaslca in more than four weeks. The itinerary
of the "Boxer" includes Juneau and other ports in southeastern Alaska from
whence she proceeds to Seward and then westward along the Aleutian Islands.
The "Boxer" carried some freight and first class mail in addition to its food
Unless the maritime strike is settled in the near future, definite
arrangements will be ma.de by the Secretary of the Interior for regular sail-
ings each month between Seattle and Alaska of one or two boats loaded with
food stuffs sufficient to meet existing emergencies and with first class mail
destined for Alaskan towns.
CONFERENCE FOR CHIEF CLERKS AND PERSONNEL OFFICERS HELD IN WASHINGTON
In an effort to "bring about a better understanding of our personnel
problems and in order to permit those who are usually responsible for the
handling of the details with reference to personnel matters an opportunity to
see in operation what is many times so vaguely referred to as the Washington
Office, it has been decided to bring in for conference and instruction the
chief clerks of the various Indian Service units.
The first group of chief clerks were brought into Washington during
the second week in December This group consisted of twenty-two chief clerks
and nersonnel officers, five of whom were Indians. It is proposed to hold
similar conferences during the months that follow and it is the plan, to bring
in the chief clerks from the different areas until all the chief clerks have
had an opportunity to visit the Washington Office. It is felt that our per-
sonnel problems will be more expeditiously handled and that many of the mis-
takes that are now made and which cause considerable correspondence and some-
times embarrassment, will be avoided when our chief clerks and those respon-
sible for the handling of the dptails of personnel matters have a thorough un-
derstanding of -oersonnel procedure and regulations. Although numerous cir-
The Group That Was Present At The Washington Conference
cellars have been issued on these subjects, experience has shown that a know-
ledge of the proper procedure can best be acquired through personal instruc-
tion and that a more sympathetic understanding of the problems of the Washing-
ton Office can only be obtained by means of conferences similar to those pro-
From each one present came words of highest praise for this confer-
ence, the first of its kind ever to be held in the Indian Service. The com-
ments of a number of the chief clerks with reference to their reaction to
this conference follow:
"My impression is that this meeting is really going to be very
helpful and instructive to all the chief clerks. As I recall this is the
first time there has been any particular gathering for chief clerks. I think
it shows that the Indian Office is really interested to know just what an im-
portant job the chief clerk holds and what responsibilities are on his shoul-
ders." Fred Thomas, "Chief Clerk, Wahpeton School, North Dakota.
"I think this meeting is worth while, instructive and educational.
It is something that we have been looking forward to and I trust there will
be more like it." R. R. Bell anger , Personnel Officer, Phoenix School, Arizona.
"I think this meeting has served more benefits than a person can
realize because we have been able to meet all the Washington officials or
most all of them. I feel that all the chief clerks in the field realize their
connection with the Washington Office and we rely on them for final decisions
in all especially difficult cases. I think there is not one person here but
realizes that and is glad we have been given this opportunity." Fred it.
G-eeslin , Chief Clerk, United Pueblos, New Mexico.
"Overhearing one of the clerks say that he had been in the Serv-
ice for 36 years and that this is his first trip to Washington, that clerk
must like some of the rest of us, have had the feeling that the Indian Office
was more or less of an inroersonal thing and his coming here, and our coming
here, has more or less done away with that feeling and put a feeling of per-
sonality into the thing, that we could not get in any other way. I think
that is one of the ■orincinal benefits to be derived from a meeting like this."
B. P. Six , Chief Clerk, Navajo Agency, Arizona.
"I think this meeting has been of great benefit to the chief clerks.
It has had a tendency to flush our memories and call our attention to a great
many things that will enable us to handle our work more satisfactorily to the
office." J. H. Crickenbergen , Chief Clerk, Truxton Canon, Arizona.
"I think it is a very splendid idea. I think a great many people
have thought that the clerks belong to the forgotten class. This meeting
has given us the opportunity to come in and see the people with whom we are
dealing and likewise given them a chance to see us. We feel that we know who
we are dealing with now and that the office knows with whom it is dealing
in the field." Charles S. Minor , Chief Clerk, Pima Agency, Arizona.
"It has been my great ambition for several years to visit the head
of our Government in Washington. I fully appreciate the opportunity and am
making the most of it." 0. B. Berkness , Chief Clerk, Phoenix School, Arizona.
"I feel that this meeting has been well worth while and I feel that
this round table discussion is a very effective method of clearing up the
things about which we have been in doubt. A number of regulations have come
up from time to time, that we have had to work out for ourselves. I came here
prepared to ask a great many questions, "but this round table discussion has
cleared most of them up and there will not be many that I will have to take
up with the different divisions." H. E. Mitchell , Chief Clerk, Sherman Insti-
The daily program of the conference was as follows:
Monday, December 7, 1936
9:00 - 10:30 Registration and introduction
10:30 - 11:00 Address of Welcome Commissioner Collier
11:00 - 13:00 Outline of Plan of Instruction.. S. W. Crosthwa.it
1:30 - 5:00 Civil Service Rules and
Regulations S. W. Crosthwait
6:15 - Dinner - Sholl's, 1219 G St. N.W.
Tuesday, December 8
9:00 - 12:00 Departmental Field Regulations. . .C. A. Barber
1:30 - 5:00 Departmental Field Regulations...!. J. Butler
8:00 - 10:00 Discussion of Personnel and
Other Problems S. W. Crosthwait
Wednesday, December 9
9:00 - 12:00 Local Boards S. W. Crosthwait
1:30- 5:00 Leave Regulations E.H. Study
Thursday, December 10
9:00 - 12:00 Washington Office Procedure E. J. Skidmore
1:30- 5:00 Classification E. J. Skidmore
Friday, December 11
9:00 - 12:00 Appointment Procedure Under Sec.
12 of the Reorganization
Act S. W. Crostwait
1:30-- 5:00 Bookkeeping and Accounting
Regulations W. B. Greenwood
Monday, December 14
9:00 - 12:00 Bookkeeping and Accounting
Regulations W. B. Greenwood
1:30- 5:00 Property Accounting ,..C. D. Cade
EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
During the month of November, several state educational associations
held meetings in which Indian Service personnel participated and played a prom-
inent part. Indian Service educational personnel in Indian schools are en-
couraged by the Washington Office to participate in such gatherings where they
may share their problems with the public school teachers of the state. Often
there is a special section for Indian Service personnel and many of the meet-
ings of this section are attended by numerous public school teachers, who
either have Indian children in their own schools, or who are interested in the
problems of Indian education.
The New Mexico Association, which met in the early part of November,
was attended by a large delegation from the Indian Service. The Indian Ser-
vice section of this Association was organized during the convention of 1931
and has been a live and going organization ever since.
On November 13, the Indian Service educational personnel of Arizona
met in convention with the Arizona Sta.te Teachers' Convention at Phoenix, un-
der the leadership of Mr. L. E. Dial, reservation principal, Pima. Approxi-
mately 200 Indian Service teachers and other educational personnel attended
and plans were developed for the organization of the Indian Service section
of the Arizona State Educational Association. Mr. Paul L. Pickinger, Assist-
ant Director of Education of the Washington Office, was present and spoke on
the present Indian Service educational policy.
Approximately 200 Indian Service personnel attended breakfast at the
Phoenix Indian School on the morning of November 14.
The North Dakota Association met at Grand Forks also during the early
part of November. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Goodwin represented the Washington Of-
fice, and report a very interesting meeting. Superintendent Jennings, who has
been a very important factor in the development in the better relationship be-
tween the public school education personnel and the Indian Service personnel
was snow-bound and unable to be present.
Many of those at Grand Forks moved over to Rapid City for the South
Dakota meeting from the 22nd through to the 25th. Mr. Calhoun of the Pierre
School was in charge of the program for the Indian sectional gathering which
was unusually well attended. Many of the public school teachers and members
of the state staff sat in on meetings of Indian personnel. There was a banquet
on Tuesday night at which Badger Clark, the South Dakota t>oet, read in most
entertaining style a number of his own works. Mr. Thompson, Mr. Hulsizer, Mr.
Goodwin and Mr. McCaskill from the Washington Office were present.
THIRTY - NINE MONTHS OF INDIAN EMERG-ENCY CONSERVATION WORK ; A BRIEF RECORD
By Robert J. Ballantyne, I. E. C. W. Supervisor
The conservation program of the United States has been advanced at
least twenty years by the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps according
to a recent publication issued from the office of Robert Fechner, Director
of Emergency Conservation \7ork. To realize just how true this is of the con-
servation program on" Indian reservations, one has only to look at the impres-
sive record of work accomplished.
To meet the tremendous need existing
on most reservations for the development of
adequate water facilities for stock watering,
I.E.Cr.W. has built 717 impounding and large di-
version dams; has drilled or dug 905 wells; and
has developed 5,454 springs, water holes and
small reservoirs during the period beginning in
July, 1933, and ending September 30, 1936.
During the same period, to check soil
erosion and to conserve vitally needed soil,
more than a million acres of land have been
helped by tree planting, seeding and sodding
and bank sloping. As a part of this soil con-
servation program, 13,912 permanent check dams
have been built.
;//mt '■■ »
Looking toward the protection and im-
provement of thousands of acres of forests,
1,953 miles of fire breaks have been built; 85
lookout houses and lookout towers have "been con-
structed; and forest stand improvement work has
been done on 142,982 acres.
Transportation improvements further
protect forests. To this end 5,716 miles of
truck trails have been built; 1,864 miles of
horse trails; and 591 vehicle bridges.
It is not the purpose of this brief
summary to list all of the accomplishments of
I.E.C.W. However, mention of a few more major
items should be made before conclusion, such
as telephone lines, of which 4,774 miles have
been built; the 2,265,178 rods of fencing; and
the insect pest control work on more than a
half-million acres of land.
The cover design which appears on this issue of INDIANS AT WORK
was drawn by Teofilo Lucero of the U. S. Indian School at Santa Pe, New
Mexico. This design was suggested from an old classic design.
INDIANS OP THE MIDDLE WEST ORGANIZE
By Charlotte T. Westwood, Assistant Solicitor
One can call the roll of the Indian tribes and "bands of the northern
middle west from Michigan to Kansas and find that most of them are organizing
or have organized under the Reorganization Act. My story of organization is
.of those trices and bands which I visited on four trips to this region from
November 1935 to November 1936 - of the Chippewas of Minnesota and the Chip-
pewas along the shores of the Great Lakes, the Potawatomis of Upper Michigan
and of Kansas, the Winnebagos and Oraahas in the fertile rolling country of
Nebraska, the Santee Sioux and Poncas besides the Niobrara River and the rel-
atives of the Santees_ scattered in small groups under the Pipestone and Flan-
dreau Schools and the Sac and Pox, Iowas and Kickapoos in the well-settled
farm lands of Kansas. I am not including in this account the Sioux of the
great reservations in South Dakota as their problems and attitudes are quite
distinct from those of the tribes to the east of them whose common and most
outstanding characteristic is a relatively high assimilation into the white
surroundings. With this general similarity of culture, there are yet such
great differences between these tribes due to size, opportunities, leadership
and tribal experiences as to make the processes of organization extraordinari-
Of all these Indian groups the group which undertook: the biggest
job of reconstruction of their tribe through organization was the Chlpoewas
of Minnesota under the Consolidated Chippewa Agency. After years of disor-
ganization, separation and inter-reservational friction, the Indians of the
six allotted and broken reservations experienced a common urge toward tribal
unity with the proffered opportunity of the Reorganization Act. Elected
delegates of the twenty-two Indian communities of that area came together
and without outside assistance or prompting, determined to form a united
tribe - 12,000 and more members strong - and selected a committee of their
tribe to draft a constitution which would establish fair representation and
express their idea of tribal action on tribal affairs.
It was this constitution, spontaneously originated, which was the
subject of my meeting with these tribal delegates in November 1935. Discus-
sion, which had to be couched into two languages, was general and lively -
perhaps because of the obligation which accompanies representation of dif-
ferent communities. It reflected a common background of difficulties and
dissatisfactions when the tribe did not participate in the management of its
affairs. The delegates seen together did not appear a homogenous group as
various degrees of blood were represented, but this did not seem to affect
their common purpose and ability to work together. Argument was invariably
resolved into a unanimous vote. This extraordinary ability to unite a large
number in the face of obstacles has continued to characterize these Chip-oewas
who have carried through their constitution, organized an election over as
far-flung a territory as any in the Indian country,
enlisted the staunch support of their tribesmen in
a broad cooperative marketing association for their
products and sent a delegation to Washington this
November from their six reservations to advjince
their united interests.
By contrast to this large organization
with its centripetal force was the organization of
the outposts in Michigan of the former vast Chip-
pewa Territory. The once large reservation of the
L'Anse, Lac Vieux Desert and Ontonagon Bands of
Chippewa around the shores of Keewenah Bay is al-
most entirely in white ownership; their hunting
and fishing, even for subsistence, have been dras-
tically restricted under state laws; and the lum-
ber industry in which they showed marked prowess
has long since failed.
Herman Cameron, Chairman
Of Bay Mills Com-
Munity, Beside Old
But these Chiupewas insisted that there
be written among the purposes of their constitution
the establishment of economic enterprises, so much
did they look to cooperative associations, especial-
ly in fishing, as new life-blood for a healthy and
expanding existence. Their tribal council of 12 designated to draft a
constitution demonstrated what I have noticed many times since throughout this
work, that the Indians know exactly what kind of political framework they wish
to set up and have many detailed and well-reasoned ideas on this subject, some-
times drawn from familiarity with local white government, more often from for-
tunate or unfortunate experiences with Indian councils in the past. Certainly,
at least at this stage, the governmental set-up seemed everywhere to be the
part of the constitutions most concrete, real and provocative.
Overlooking St. Mary's Riv- .
er, the scene of many of the most an-
cient Chipuewa legends, is the tiny
Bay Mills Reservation uoon which live
descendants of the "Chippewas of Salt
Ste. Marie." As the one-room school-
house was the only available meeting
place, school was let out for the day.
But the schoolroom was soon filled
with the adults who sat behind the
miniature desks and gradually over-
came their reserve to ask questions
and volunteer information. Here was
my first experience with this tyoe Winnebago Basket Makers In
Front Of Their Home
of meeting, often repeated since with other small tribes or isolated communi-
ties, where the single schoolroom is the community center and the adults sit
almost timidly, surrounded "by the bright drawings and paintings and writings
and figuring of their children. These meetings have been similar in atmos-
phere. The Indians seem to accept one, or perhaps two or three of their num-
ber as leader and spokesman and upon him rests the responsibility of acting as
medium and often as literal interpreter between the government representatives
and his people. And there has always been a leader who could execute this
trust faithfully and well.
Such simole schoolroom meetings were held, besides at Bay Mills, at
the Potawatomi community at Wilson and Harris, Michigan, with the Mdewakanton
Sioux under the Pipestone School and more recently, and with some variation,
with the Kickapoo , Iowa and Sac and Fox Tribes in Kansas. Constitutions have
evolved from these meetings but I have seldom been satisfied with the contri-
butions that the Indians have made to them. While a constitution is an un-
familiar idea and the Government officials can treat it only superficially in
their limited time, still these Indians were reluctant, in spite of encourage-
ment, to bring forth their own ideas and problems and were all too ready to
accept suggestions. This implicit trust, without cavil or objection, in the
more remote and smaller communities was in marked contrast to the suspicious
and agitated reactions in certain Indian tribes which had had close and con-
stant supervision from the Government. While there may be a subject for the
cynics, this is not cynically said as organization may help moderate both ex-
tremes, bringing self-confidence to the undeveloped communities and wholesome
responsibility to the areas where bureaucracy had bred discontent.
I found a fairly happy medium in this problem of combining initia-
tive and cooperation in the four tribes under the Winnebago Agency in Nebraska
- the Winnebago, the Omaha, the Santee Sioux and the Ponca. The already es-
tablished or newly created tribal councils were qualified to sit around a
table and discuss constitutional provisions in a businesslike analytical way.
Economic projects, individual and tribal, were already taking concrete form
and the councils wanted to work out precisely and understand the relation of
the tribe and the landholders to allotted lands and assignments, the power of
the council to protect and develop tribal lands and resources, the privileges
of absentee members and so forth.
The rapid advance of these tribes in one year has proved that here
was good material for organization - tribal councils, critical but enthusias-
tic; energetic and devoted encouragement from the agency office; fairly good
natural resources, as Indian reservations go; and a wide range of Federal ac-
tivities which demanded, in order to be successful, the action and cooperation
of an organization of the Indians. More important still was the interest and
support of the large majority of the members of the tribes, demonstrated mag-
nificently in the blizzards of February when the elections were held.
The elections on the constitutions of these four tribes revealed
the momentum which the tribes, led by their councils, could develop. Dr. Roe
Cloud and I came to Winnebago to assist Superintendent Parker in explaining
A jSftl (\ \ af
New Community House Where Winnebago
Tribal Council Will Have Its Offices
the constitutions, but unprecedented
blizzards engulfed us and meetings
were arranged only to be canceled.
Yet, the Indians passed from neigh-
bor to neighbor the notices of elec-
tions, copies of the constitutions
and their own explanations of them.
The Ponca Council appointed a scout
to make the round of homes explain-
ing the Ponca constitution. So well
had he mastered his subject and done
his job that the Ponca Council re-
ported further meetings unnecessary.
On Lincoln's birthday, the Omahas
held one of their characteristically
well-attended open council meetings
at which the nearly one hundred tribal members rose, almost unanimously to
approve holding the election without postponement, in spite of all obstacles.
One drive of these Indians was to have economic programs under way
by spring, little anticipating the great drought in store for the summer. But
when I returned in July to help explain the corooration charters I found the
councils still resilient, still confident of the support of their tribes,
still ready to think and plan. In going over the significance and provisions
of a charter with them, it was at once apparent what great advantage groups
like these with their comparative familiarity with white communities have in
understanding and utilizing these "economic techniques over those tribes with-
out such familiarity.
After these visits for preliminary work and explanation, I witnessed
this last fall these councils taking the first steps of administration as or-
ganized and chartered bodies. This was more significant than any preceding
experience, for now responsibility rested more clearly than ever, not on the
man from Washington, not on the agency, but on the councils themselves. And
it was evident they recognized this. The people had elected as capable lead-
ers as they had and those who had been considered unruly before election were
now showing a real sense of tribal duty and trust. What is more, the council-
men who had had the benefit of the previous year's experience showed an a-
mazing increase in capacity. They had been called on to make decisions; they
had to meet regularly and accomplish a certain amount of business; they had
digested a hundred new ideas; they had developed self-confidence. It was a
true commentary on the importance and respect that the Council had gained in
the community when a youngster at a tribal meeting said to Mr. Parker and me,
" I hope I am Chairman of the Council when I grow up."
RECOLLECTIONS OP TWO PRESIDENTS :
An Interview With Pablo Abeita, Of Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico
"I've been to every inauguration and met every President since
Cleveland. Two of them I knew best and liked best were Theodore Roose\*elt
and Woodrow Wilson.
"When I first met Roosevelt I was with a group of Indians in Wash-
ington. We went to the White House and took turns shaking hands with him. I
was last in the line so I had a little time to think of something to say.
When it was my turn, I tried to tell him how glad we were to be in Washington
and to meet him. 'I see you speak good English, 1 said the President, when we
shook hands. Just as I was about to leave the White House, someone came up
and touched me on the arm. 'The President wants you to wait and speak with
him alone,' he said. So I went into the room where the President was sitting.
"'Tell me something about yourself and your Pueblo,' he said. So I
told him about Isleta and the other Pueblos; I told him about the country
around there and about the deer hunting. He kept asking me questions and I
kept answering. A man came in and interrupted us once, but the President just
told him to go away. Well, sir, we talked for more than two hours. When we
finished, Mr. Roosevelt said, 'Pablo, I am coming to New Mexico some day and
when I do, I am coming to Isleta to see you.' Later on he did come. He
visited me in the house here, and he sat in the same chair* you are sitting
in now. He was a fine man.
"I talked with Woodrow Wilson several times. I went to the White
House one time after he had come back from Prance, after the War. When they
took me into the room where he was, he smiled at me and said, 'Pablo, come
and shake hands with me and then get out I' (He was busy that day.) That was
the last time I ever saw him. I liked Mr. Wilson; he was a wonderful man."
Pablo hopes to maintain his record by coming to Washington for the
forthcoming inauguration. He met President Roosevelt last spring in Washing-
ton, but he wants to see the inauguration. "This time I think I'll drive and
I'm going to bring mamma - my wife, I mean. She's never been out of New Mex-
*Among other notables who have sat in Pablo's chair was Elizabeth,
Queen of the Belgians, who visited Isleta with her husband, the late King
Albert, during their tour of the United States. Yftien asked to point out the
chair the King sat in, Pablo said he didn't sit in a chair; he sat on a stool.
SIMON FIRSTSHOOT, CHIEF TALKS DIFFERENT AND RICHARD KING
HIS TOBY OF FOREST FIRES JEN THE LITTLE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
By Richard King, Simon Firstshoot and Talks Different
Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana
The first fire that we know of in the Little Rockies was in 1883.
There was a lot of mining going on at that time and the white men came on the
reservation and prospected for gold. They didn't have any permit "but were
sneaking in. There is a lot of dispute about who was the first man to dis-
cover gold in the Little Rockies. Many men claim that they were the ones,
hut according to the old-time Indians a fellow named Keyes was really the
first man who discovered gold in the Little Rockies.
This fire of 1883 was caused by the miners setting fire to the
mountains. They didn't like to have the Indians coming in during the summer
months to pick berries and hunt. There were lots of elk, bear, mountain sheen,
deer and small game. This fire destroyed all the timber and scared the game
away. This is just what the miners wanted to do in order to keep the Indians
away. It worked and all the game was driven out of the mountains and the In-
dians had to go to other places to hunt. There's no game left there now; only
a few deer and mountain lion. We have found big elk horns, showing that they
were once there. Besides the Indians who came in to hunt and pick berries,
these mountains were a hiding -olace for outlaws and robbers and the miners
wanted to drive them out too. Henry Tucker, one of the old-timers who settled
there, told us the story of this fire.
There was another fire about 1890. The Act of 1888 established
the Fort Belknap, Blackfeet and Fort Peck Reservations and the old agency
was moved from Chinook, Montana. Shortly after these Indians moved into these
reservations, there was the fire of 1890 at Fort Belknap. An old Gros Ventres
woman started the fire by leaving a fire burning near her tent while she slept.
The tent and the old woman "both were burned up. It was in the fall of the
year, just about the time when grass begins to get dry and the fire spread
over the whole Little Rocky Mountains.
The next fire was in 1917. This was caused by lightning and de-
stroyed about one-third of the trees in the mountains.
There was no big fire after that until 1936. There were little,
small spot fires but the Forest Service and the Indian Service had taken over
jurisdiction of these mountains and had men stationed at lookouts. They were
organized and took care of small fires before they had a chance to spread.
The big fire of 1936 started from the Little Ben mining camp near
Mission Peak. It had been extremely dry for three years. It was so dry that
all the springs and all the water dried up. A man at the mining camp threw
a cigarette stub in the stove. It was summer and a lot of papers had accumu-
lated in the stove which started to burn. It got so hot that sparks fell on
a tree and started to burn. The wind was blowing with the fire and it spread
so fast that no one could get near it. The fire ran thirteen miles in the
first nine hours. After that it kept on spreading. It would look like we had
it out, but the leaf mold, which turns to soil, was just like dry powder and
whenever the wind started blowing again it would start blazing. It destroyed
all of the mountains. It was the worst fire we ever had.
TOMAN'S POSITION AT ZUNI
By Ruth Benedict
Lecturer and Assistant Professor of Anthropology,
Columbia University, New York City.
In sr>ite of the casual nature of mar-
riage and divorce, a very large proportion of
Zuni marriages endure through the greater part
of a lifetime. Bickering is not liked, and most
marriages are peaceful. The permanence of Zuni
marriages is the more striking because marriage,
instead of being the social form behind which
all forces of tradition are massed, as in our
culture, cuts directly across the most strongly
institutionalized social bond in Zuni.
This is the matrilineal family, which
^^^ - is ceremonially united in its ownership and care
of the sacred fetishes. To the women of the
household, the grandmother and her sisters, her
daughters and their daughters, belong the
house and the corn that is stored in it. No
matter what may haTroen to marriages, the women
of the household remain with the house for life.
They present a solid front. They care for and
feed the sacred objects that belong to them.
They keep their secrets together. Their husbands are outsiders, and it is
their brothers, married now into the houses of other clans, who are united
with the household in all affairs of moment. It is they who return for all
the retreats when the sacred objects of the house are set out before the
altar. It is they, not the women, who learn the word-perfect ritual of their
sacred bundle and perpetuate it. A man goes always, for all important oc-
casions, to his mother's house, which, when she dies, becomes his sister's
house, and if his marriage breaks up, he returns to the same stronghold.
This blood-relationship group, rooted in the ownership of the house,
united in the care of sacred objects, is the important group in Zuni. It has
permanence and important common concerns. But it is not the economically
functioning group. Each married son, each married brother, spends his labor
upon the corn which will fill his wife's storeroom. Only when his mother's
or sister's house lacks male labor does he care for the cornfield of his
blood-relationship group. The economic group is the household that lives to-
gether, the old grandmother and her husband, her daughters and their husbands.
These husbands count in the economic group, though in the ceremonial group
they are outsiders.
For women there is no conflict. They have no allegiance 6f any-
kind to their husbands' groups But for all men there is double allegiance.
They are husbands in one group and brothers in another. Certainly in the
more important families, in those which care for permanent fetishes, a man's
allegiance as brother has more social weight than his allegiance as husband.
In all families a man's position derives, not, as with us, from his position
as breadwinner, but from his role in relation to the sacred objects of the
household. The husband, with no such relationship to the ceremonial posses-
sions of his wife's house to trade upon, only gradually attains to position
in the household as his children grow to maturity. It is as their father,
not as provider or as their mother's husband, that he finally attains some
authority in the household where he may have lived for twenty years. Re-
printed from " Pattern s of Cul ture " by Ruth Benedict .
AN EXAMPLE OF INDIAN LNDUSTRIOUSNESS
One of the best examples of Indian industriousness* is typified in
the work of Julia Cosette, Onigum District, Leech Lake Reservation. Julia
is a full-blood Chippewa woman who has always lived in northern Minnesota.
She is now living on her allotment on the south shores of Leech Lake. Most
of her allotment is wooded, but a part of it has been cleared for gardening.
She makes preparation for her garden work early, starting tomato
and cabbage plants indoors. Seed is saved from the previous year's crop, so
she is always assured of something to plant. Her garden is planned system-
atically, with straight, well-cultivated rows. From this garden she obtained
her entire vegetable supply. A portion of the surplus is canned and the rest
Even before the garden work starts, one can find her actively en-
gaged in her own maple sugar bush adjacent to her home, tapping trees, gather-
ing the sap, or boiling down the liquid to a syrup. Most of this work she
does herself, and she is an expert along this line. All of her equipment, in-
cluding kettles, birch bark kit-te-nagains (buckets), and nay gwa-gwan (wood
splices) are stored in a small shed where her maple syrup operations take
place. This year instead of tapping the tree with an ax, she used a rounded
chisel and a spout or wood splice to conform to the rounded contour of the
chisel. She reported excellent results, and expects to follow the same
practice next year. Since she is such an expert in the making of syrup and
sugar, her products have ready sales.
Julia is also a genius in the making of handicraft work. Her handi-
craft articles are varied in character; many of them made from birch bark or
the products of the woods. She is best known, however, as a rug weaver. Sne
claims to have learned this art from her grandmother. She has donated her
services to teach other Indian women the art. Excerpt from Consolidated
Chippewa Annual Extension Report .
"THE ROCKf BOY RENEGADES"
By Frank B. Linderman
Old Type Camp - Rocky Boy's
Nearly one hundred years ago, a large "band of Chip-oewas (Ojibwas)
migrated from the region of Red Lake, Minnesota, to the northwestern plains.
Here their hereditary enemies, the Sioux, who greatly outnumbered them, gave
them repeated "battle, finally driving them northward across the Canadian line
where they settled down with their kinsmen, the Crees. The Chippewa name for
the Crees is "Kin-nisto-no'. 1 , meaning "three of us." Strengthened now, these
Chro-oewas and their friends the Crees, each year hunted "buffalo on the north-
ern plains in what is now Montana, frequently warring with the Blackfeet and
particularly the Pecunnies whose domain embraced the northern buffalo range.
In the spring of 1885 Canadian troops fought several battles with
the Chippewas and Crees who had been incited to revolt by mixed-bloods. These
engagements which occurred north of the boundary line of Montana, are known
in Canadian history as the Riel Rebellion of that year. The leading trouble
maker, Louis Riel, a quarter-blood who had been partially educated for the
priesthood by Roman Catholic missionaries, was finally taken by Canadian
authorities, tried for murder and hanged in November, 1885. Gabriel Dumont,
Riel's fighting general, escaped to Montana where he finally died.
The rebellion crushed, many of the Chippewas, under Stone-Child,
whom belittling white men dubbed "Rocky Boy", returned to Montana, bringing
with them a band of Crees led by Little Bear, the young son of Big Bear, the
Cree chief. Little Bear believed that he had a perfect right to remain in
the United States, once telling the writer that his mother was a Chippewa
woman and that he was born in Wisconsin. Anyhow, because of their battles
and their flight across
the Canadian line into
Montana these Chippewas
and Crees under their two
chiefs soon became known
as "The Rocky Boy Rene-
gades", having neither a
country nor a home. Nev-
ertheless they lived well
enough on the buffalo,
their old enemies, the
Pecunnies. Then. game be-
gan to grow scarce; fin-
ally the buffalo disap-
New Type Home At Rocky Boy's
The country began settling rapidly; towns sprang up along the new
Great Northern Railway which crossed the old buffalo range. The "pilgrim"
settlers, hearing their story, began to complain of the wandering Chippewas
and Crees who had no reservation and no place to go. "They're Canadians.
Send them home!" they protested. And this was done.
United States soldiers rounded them up - Chippewas and Crees alike,
and escorting them across the line, permitted them to go free upon Canadian
soil. But the Indians headed straight back for Montana, actually beating the
soldiers home. This feat caused old-timers to chuckle: "Let them stay," they
said. And they did stay even though they had now to scratch desperately for
a living. Within six months the last of their finery, quill and beadwork,
vanished in the purchase of food. They could yet find deer and elk however,
and the women dressed the skins, making moccasins, shirts and beaded belts.
These they sold to white men fo'r whatever they would bring, until Montana's
game laws put a stop to killing elk and deer.
Deprived of this source of food, the Chippewas and Crees were suf-
fering from hunger when suddenly they learned that there was a market for
bones. Immediately, with Red River carts, rickety wagons drawn by tiny ca-
yuse teams and even with pack horses, the Chippewas and Crees of all ages be-
gan gathering the thousands of tons of buffalo bones which were scattered over
hundreds of square miles of Montana's plains, hauling them to the railroad
stations where they stacked them in immense piles, ugly monuments to the wan-
tonness of the white man.
For years these Indians lived by bone gathering. When at last the
bones were gone they went over the ground again, this time garnering the buf-
falo horns, laboriously polishing them to sell to white men in the towns, es-
pecially at the railway stations where tourists bought them as souvenirs of
the Great Plains. When they could find no more horns, and the buffalo had
made its last contribution to the Indians, the Chippewas and Crees faced ac-
They congregated in small bands on the outskirts of cities and
towns and constructed flimsy camps, using scraps of canvas, gunny sacks and
old boxes. Firewood was scarce and far away and the winters were bitterly
cold so that to save wood the Chippewas and Crees ingeniously constructed
stoves from iron washtubs garnered from the cities' waste dumps. These stoves,
installed in their miserable huts overheated them and the interior air became
so foul that sickness frequently followed. Harried by police, jeered by white
ruffians, the Chippewa and Cree women prowled each day through the alleys,
in search of garbage cans for food. For years these cans and the cities'
dumps, offal from slaughter houses, with an occasional horse or cow found
dead upon the plains, furnished a large portion of their food. To their great
credit, they did but little begging and one must marvel that during all these
years of suffering and exposure they somehow kept their health.
"They will not work", declared the whites. But the Chippewas and
Crees had never been given an opportunity to earn their bread. The writer
has known members of this band of Indians to suffer arrest for vagrancy on
Joe Doe warrants while waiting at the entrance to his place of business for
promised work, and once when he had secured employment for a Cree who spoke
good English, the man was discharged because he did not belong to the Union.
To correct this the writer gave the Indian the necessary initiation fee and
the Union rejected the applicant because he was an Indian. During all these
years a few friends begged old clothes for the Chippewas and Crees; dresses
for the women were difficult to obtain.
The condition of these Indians was growing each year into a greater
national disgrace when there were whisperings that the Government had decided
to abandon the Fort Assinniboine Military Reservation and open the lands for
settlement. Here was an opportunity to secure a reservation for the "renegades",
since the Government had only to set the land aside for the puroose. But the
first steps toward such an end brought storms of protest from local politicians,
and even from one of Montana's "cities. The controversy lasted for several
years and protesting delegations visiting Washington blocked the movement so
that at last only a small tract of three townships lying farthest from the
railroad was given the Chippewas and Crees for a reservation.
This land is in the Bear Paw Mountains. The altitude ranges from
4,000 feet to more than 5,000 feet above the sea. Level land is scarce and
lies in small patches among the hills. Nevertheless the Chippewas and Crees
settled down upon this land having nothing with which to begin life on their
reservation. Stone-Child was dead by now. Even Little Bear, the sturdy
chief of the Crees, did not withstand the shock of having a home for his tired
Pew were comfortably clothed and many were ill and all were hungry,
and had been hungry for years. When in 1916 the "renegades" settled in the
Bear Paw Mountains, the men went into the timber to cut logs for small cabins
and built a huddle of them against the coming winter. And here in this cen-
tral camp, this huddle of huts, the Chippewas and Crees lived for ten years
on the scanty rations issued "by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose sole con-
cern was to keep the Indians on their reservation so that they might not "both-
er the white settlers who could vote.
Under the Bureau's petrified system of perpetuating pauperism among
the Indians, the Chippewas and Crees sat down. There were more than six hun-
dred of thera who had to he fed and who despised learning to loaf and hated their
self-styled benefactors. But suddenly, after more than one hundred years of
inefficiency and blind groping, somebody had a dream and saw a vision concern-
ing these Indians who had no ancient claims against the Government, no tribal
lands and few friends. A new and wiser policy was inaugurated and tried out.
"Work or starve", Superintendent Wooldridge told the Chippewas and Crees and
he was backed by the Office of Indian Affairs.
"But how can we work when there is no work to do here, when we nave
no tools, nothing to work with?" the startled Indians asked. Mr. Wooldridge
made this answer: "The Government will furnish the work and tools and you
must pay for the tools with work. From this day you will receive nothing
whatever that you do not earn by work. Every man who shows us that he is will-
ing to work hard may go into debt to the amount of $600 worth of food, cloth-
ing, farming machinery and seed. When he pays what he owes, or shows us that
he is deadly earnest by working well and saving what he earns, he may have
"He may then buy cattle and a good house for his family to live in.
We will build a flour mill and you must raise the wheat for it to grind and
we will build a saw mill and you must cut the logs for it to saw into lumber.
Besides these things we will build good roads on your reservation and employ
you to do the work and you will be hired to work upon all the buildings. These
Clearing Right-Of-Way At Rocky Boy's
projects will cost the Government a lot of money and yet when you have paid
for them in work, they will he yours."
"But what will become of the old people, the ones who cannot work?"
asked the wondering Indians. "We will take care of the old people as long
as they live," replied the Superintendent. "But from this day onward, no
more rations will be issued to able-bodied men or women. We have hired a
farmer to teach you to till your lands and plant your gardens. Ask him to
show you. Now get to work, or starve."
This, roughly, is the new system on the Rocky Boy's Reservation.
Never again will the Government have to give the "renegades" handouts. And
to this new policy we say "ajnen." Within thirty days after this declaration
the huddle of huts on the reservation was deserted. Men, with their families,
settled down upon chosen patches to plow and sow grain, planting gardens and
building new homes. The first years were difficult indeed. They were dry,
so dry that the crops planted by white men failed.
Not all the Chippewas and Crees took kindly to this new system.
There were a few grumblers; but not for long. Today there is scarcely a
slacker on the Rocky Boy's Reservation. And the Government has kept its
promises. When I visited the four outlying schoolhouses, I found them to be
attractive buildings, each having .a kitchen, a bathroom and laundry, togeth-
er with an electric light plant of its own. Each cost in the neighborhood
of $12,000. Above all, each seemed to have good teachers. They were inter-
ested in their work and in the work the Indians are doing, not only in. their
schools but in farming and stock raising. There are classes in cooking and
housekeeping and in gardening. Each school has its own garden and some years
these school gardens bring from $3,000 to $4,000 by the sale of vegetables.
Each day fresh milk is sent to each school from the Agency. All four schools
carry the children through eighth grade work. And here is one reservation
where even the older Indians are anxious to have the children learn the ways
of the white men.
There are now 1300 of these Indians on the Rocky Boy's Reservation.
Ninety of them are farming and in 1935 they topped the St. Paul marked with
220 head of beef steers and netted $10,000 cash. Nearly all able-bodied men
have worked continuously for the Government or for themselves since 1930.
Even the old people are employed at $1.00 per day rather than accept the
The Government has given the Chippewas nothing whatever. The In-
dians have earned what they now have. How has all this been accomplished?
Roughly, as follows:
"Flour is ground in the Rocky Boy's mill and sold, not only to the
Indians themselves, but to other reservations. This money is returned to the
tribal debt on the flour mill. At first this mill ground flour for the near-
by merchants, but outside millers objected to this and complained to the In-
dian Office. The Department ordered the Superintendent to grind no more flour
for outside merchants. He is permitted to furnish flour for other Indian
reservations, however, and this source of revenue is eating away the tribal
debt on the mill. Lumber is sawed in the tribal saw mill by the Indians
themselves and sold to white settlers as well as to Rocky Boy's tribesmen.
All debits of this activity can now be paid and a cash balance of $10,000
will still be available. Crons, live stock, beadwork (and last year the
beadwork brought more than $2,000), everything which they produce is handled
in exactly the same way.
They have built scores of miles of good roads on their reservation
at a cost of $1300 per mile and they have done this work themselves. The
Government pays them for their road work, withholding 25$, which is applied
to the individual's private debt. The "Rocky Boy's Renegades" are making
good. Their debt to the United States Government is less than $73.00 per
Rocky Boy's Tribal Council
Taken During The Discussion Of Their Constitution
In August, 1936.
1877 - 1936
By Robert Marshall - Director of Forestry and Grazing
When the Yakima delegates were in Washington last winter, Noah Slus-
ecum invited me to join him on a two -days' pack horse trip along the north
boundary of the Yakima Reservation. For years Noah had been a devoted leader
in the fight of the Yakima Indians to right the great wrong which was done
them when the Government established a boundary in violation of the spirit,
if not the letter, of the treaty of 1855, and he wanted to show me directly
on the ground the old landmarks which the white men who made the treaty pointed
out to the Indian signers and then disregarded.
When I reached the Yakima Reservation on October 25th I learned that
Noah Slusecum had died of pneumonia two weeks before.
Noah Slusecum exhibited the finest traits of a true Indian leader.
He was chief of the Yakima River band, but his thoughts and his actions went
far beyond the interest of any one band to those of all the Indians. His
judgments were sound, fair and practical and so he came to be generally looked
upon as a real leader of the whole tribe. He belonged to the older school of
Indians, wore his hair long and although he could speak English, usually talked
through an interpreter. In common with most of the older Indians he believed
in entering into changes conservatively and carefully, for he knew how many
times in the past things which seemed good on the surface had cost the Yakimas
His viewpoints were in close accordance with the major objectives of
the present Indian administration. He participated actively in Indian self-
government, and was perhaps more than any one man a leader in the Yakima Tribal
Council. He believed strongly in conserving the natural resources of the Yak-
ima Indians, was bitter about the land dissipation which resulted from the Al-
lotment Act and was friendly to forest and range management. He was also out-
standing among those Indians who used their own resources to earn their own
living, being one of the most prominent live stock owners on the reservation.
Nobody could ever have had a keener sense of humor than Noah Slusecum.
When the conference at Chemawa was being conducted in March, 1934, to explain
the Wheeler-Howard bill to the Indians of the Northwest, the first evening
session was divided up into half a dozen small meetings. It fell to my lot
to lead the meeting with the Klamath, Warm Springs and Yakima Tribes. Discus-
sion, pro and con, was active and spirited from eight in the evening until mid-
night. Finally, after about four hours, Noah Slusecum got up and said:
"We have been listening to your sweet words all evening,
and they sound very good and reasonable, but we cannot help
remembering that 47 years ago other white men came among us,
and they said just as sweet words, and they sounded just as
good and reasonable, and we listened to those sweet wor ds,
and we believed those sweet words , and as a result of listen-
ing to those sweet words and believing in those sweet words
we lost the best third of our reservation, so I guess even
though your words do sound so sweet we will continue the way
we have been going. "
Last winter when the Yakima delegates were in Washington, Noah Slus-
ecum was trying to find out something about where the Yakima Cattle Associa-
tion was going to graze its stock during the coming year. First he went up to
the Extension Division and they referred him to the Forestry and Grazing Divi-
sion. He came to me in considerable perplexity and wanted to know how he could
tell which division he should see. I thought I would be smart and make the
matter obviously simple to him, so I said: "The Extension Division handles
everything which has to do with the cattle and the Forestry Division handles
everything which has to do with the grass."
Quick as a flash Noah asked: "Which division handles the grass while
it's going through the cattle?"
TONAWANDA RESERVATION DOINGS
By Robert J. Tahamont (Gweh - Ch)
The Senecas on the Tonawanda Reservation, located in New York, have
derived much benefit through plans for employment adopted during the past
four years. Employment has been given in Buffalo and Williamsville, New York,
on road construction, sewer lines and other development projects.
The New York State recreational urogram has been supervising the
recreational urogram for the young people of the reservation. It has in-
cluded hard and soft ball teams for boys, a soft ball team for girls, track
events, classes in leathercraft and in dancing.
A class in Seneca has been started under the direction of William
Fenton and Raymond Moses. It is surprising how many Senecas do not speak
Mrs. Walter A. Eenricks has been working for some time to get a
community house for the Tonawanda Indians. She has succeeded and we are
elated over something else good that has been done for us. Construction on
this building will start soon and its completion will fill a long-felt need.
INDIAN BEE KEEPERS AT BAD RIVER RESERVATION , GREAT LAKES AGENCY , WISCONSIN
By A. L. Hook, Land Field Agent, Lake States
The Sun Drenched Bee Yard
Fifteen years ago one of the
elder Beauregard brothers, living on the
La Point Reservation in northern Wisconsin,
captured a swarm of bees. This act marked
the beginning of a profitable occupation
for the four brothers, John, Alec, George
The four Beauregards now have
an eighty hive apiary on their forty-acre
allotment and they belong to the Northern
Wisconsin Honey Producers ' Association
through which they market their produce.
Last winter was long and severe and was
followed by a very poor summer for honey
harvesting which fact necessitated a long hand-feeding period; nevertheless,
the brothers marketed 1100 pounds of extracted honey in five-pound pails bear-
ing the stamp of approval of the marketing association. They lost only two
hives during the cold weather. Wild fruit blossoms and white clover from
adjoining fields form the largest source of honey for their bees.
The day we visited, John was busy painting new hives and supers in
the sun drenched bee yard. A hedge of pine trees, forming a hollow square,
protects the hives from prevailing winds while fruit trees which were just
bursting into bloom furnish shade on hot summer days.
John is quiet and soft spoken. Now and then he paused at his work
as a curious bee disentangled itself from the sticky paint. John said, "When
we started we knew nothing about bees. We liked the work and we learned as
we went along.* 1
"The bees are not working today," he continued regretfully. "It is
too windy and they are either in the hives or just playing. Come some day
when it isn't windy and then you'll really see some bees."
Figure it out for yourself: eighty hives and approximately six
thousand bees per hive. We thanked him and left, feeling that in spite of the
wind we had been too close for comfort to several thousand bees too many.
To the Beauregards 1 industry and versatility we credit their suc-
cess in deriving a profitable income from the nucleus of that first swarm of
THE EDUCATIONAL UTILIZATION OP ENVIRONMENT
ON THE PAPAGO RESERVATION IN ARIZONA
By John H. Hoist - Supervisor of Indian Schools
The great Sonora Desert extends from Mexico across the border far
into southern Arizona. Within its bounds there are no living springs nor
continually running streams. Sandy wastes and deep arroyos; low lying hills
and scattered masses of black rock rising from the plain as miniature moun-
tains; and over all a gray and green mantle of desert vegetation which on
the coming of a rain bursts into verdure and bloom of incomparable brilliance
and beauty. And rains there are that come in torrents at certain seasons,
filling the deep arroyos and shallow stream beds bank full of roaring muddy
waters that break all bounds and spread over the vast sand floors which, aft-
er a few hours, are dry again, leaving only a wrecked terrain as evidence of
the rain god's visit.
The desert is inhospitably thorny. Needles, thorns, spines, claws
and bayonet points are everywhere. There are cacti of many kinds: the giant
sahuaro as scattered sentinels or like files of columns which from a distance
appear as the fire-stripped stumps of a great forest conflagration; the chol-
los in all their thorny glory and wierd beauty; the graceful occotillos-; the
Spanish Bayonet, the maguey, the century plant, the yuccas and all the lesser
forms of a widely varied family; the mesquite, the bread tree of the desert;
the palo verde, its crown of glory; salt bush, chemisa, cat's claw and even
the Crucifixion Tree.
The animal life is al-ike hostile: the rattlesnake, the Gila Mon-
ster, the giant centipede, the tarantula, the scorpion, the sand ant and oth-
er forms of venomous life inhabit the desert; but all are more feared by those
who are less familiar with their habits and habitats.
In the center of the Desert of Sonora lies Papagueria, the tradi-
tional and present home of more than 5,000 Papagos. During a thousand years
they have adjusted themselves to the conditions and every vicissitude of
their desert home and have lived independent, happy and satisfying lives. In
fifty permanent and thirty seasonal villages scattered over thousands of
square miles, they have gone their quiet way and have been content. Every
village has its gardens and fields wherever check dam, charco, or natural
seepage furnishes a little moisture; but such gardens and fields merely sup-
plement the natural food supply of the desert. Their homes and furnishings
are as simple as their wants.
The people are industrious, kindly, hospitable, cheerful and inde-
pendent with high standards of civic and moral life. They have learned to
live happily where others cannot live; to utilize what others do not want.
They have learned to work together in family groups and closely related units
wherein every individual has his place and his respected rights and each con-
tributes to the whole.
Education among the Papagos is a simple matter. The children learn
from their elders in home, in garden and in field and in contact with desert
life. They learn through symbolism in religious, civic and social ceremonies;
and when the wise men of the villages gather all around the evening camp fire
for instruction in all social relations.
Sells, Arizona, near the Mexican border, is the agency center for
the Papago reservations. It has a new and modern school building with shop
end home economics rooms.
Here are a group of teachers unusually flexible in their attitudes
and thinking. They were not especially selected for this place but Sells is
fortunate in getting those who are too virile to fit into the average conven-
tional school situation. They are neither bound by the old traditions nor
yet by the improved new traditions of a domineering professionalism. Heart-
ened by a visit from the Director of Education and by what they understand
to be the policies of the Commissioner, they have attempted to formulate a
flexible program for the utilization of environment on the Papago Reservation
as a guide to them in their work.
The special work with boys began as an out of school activity before
nine o'clock in the morning and after four o'clock in the afternoon. A tent
shop was erected. Tools and supplies were purchased from meager funds and
augmented by used goods boxes, waste lumber and other materials. Boys were
paid ten cents an hour to work. They made articles that Indian homes wanted
and charged purchasers ten per cent above cost, thus creating a small revolv-
ing fund. What they made was quickly taken and orders for other articles
began to come in. They learned what the homes needed and wanted and prepared
the way for a more extensive program of home improvement. Fathers visited
the shop and requested the teacher to help them with their problems. It was
only a step from that to closer cooperation between the home and school and
the enlistment of the active interests of the parents in a functioning edu-
Bees and poultry are playing their part. Starting with a stand of
bees, the colonies have increased -until the apiary furnishes honey for the
school and for other reservation schools and there is some for market to "bring
in-needed funds for the work.-- But bee keeping has other educational implica-
tions: the boys learn to make the hives and frames and to manage honey pro-
duction. Then there are related lessons in English, biology, drawing and so
forth. Now some of the parents are keeping Dees and the industry is spread-
ing in a country peculiarly adapted to it.
A sand brooder was built and its utility demonstrated in the raising
of numbers of chickens and now sand brooders have been introduced on the des-
ert and poultry raising is receiving an inroetus.
Thus from a meager beginning, industrial education is rapidly spread-
ing, not only carrying education into the homes of the country, but also co-
ordinating elementary and adult education.
Because of a shortage in the teaching force, a primary teacher
of outstanding ability,' volunteered to undertake the work with older girls
after her regular day with the primary. She met with such a hearty re-
sponse from the thirty older girls that they soon developed a tentative
program which is going forward with enthusiasm. The following is a summary
While this course is offered primarily for girls in the Sells Day
School, it is intended to reach the homes in a very vital way and also to re-
late to and coordinate with the industrial work for boys and to the general
program of the school in its educational utilization of the environment.
The school is merely the center of activities which function on
the reservation in the homes. There is a two-room adobe practice house avail-
able on the campus. It is typical of the average Papago home and can be made
to show how acceptable improvements in such homes can be made. It can be ■
equipped with simple furniture most of which can be made by the girls. It
can have a patio, an occotillo fence and simple plantings fashioned after
the better Papago homes.
The teacher having established friendly contacts will visit her
girls in their homes and help them and their parents there. Mothers and old-
er girls will come to the school for advice and to use the somewhat better
facilities provided there for instruction and example in general improvement
of the homes. The school will be as far extended as the needs of its patrons
and will therefore require much of the time of the teacher in the homes and
communities, always by invitation or on a welcome excuse in helpfulness.
The formal subjects of an ordinary course in domestic science will
take on a new meaning, the idea being to gradually "bring about improvement
without making too violent changes in custom and culture habits and with due
respect to cultural backgrounds. The course will be based upon individual
and home needs and interests and inspire to aesthetic as well as economic
improvement in the enrichment of life and that without running to superfici-
Features of the course can be conducted in the practice house and
present an opportunity to reach each home where these suggestions and instruc-
tions can be extended to meet individual needs and interests. Effective ways
of sweeping, of mopping, of making beds, of scalding and washing dishes, the
disposition of heaps of accumulated articles familiar to Papago homes; a
systematized routine for performing household duties; the cooking, prepara-
tion and care of foods; preparation of simple meals using foods produced or
purchased on the reservation; stress food values; balanced menus and season-
ing; the importance of cleanliness in the preparation and storage of foods;
canning, drying and preserving of foods; utilization of native products.
Sewing, mending, dyeing; making personal garments, towels, rugs and
so forth; interest mothers to work with girls in making the necessary clothes
for the family; in making curtains, quilts, rugs, and so forth from scrap and
available material such as burlap, flour sacks; mending, dyeing and remodeling
clothes; buying materials.
Personal hygiene: Relation of health to beauty; proper food, eating,
sleeping, posture and exercise habits; bathing; care of the hands, feet, skin,
hair, teeth; proper clothing and its care.
Home conveniences and furniture: substantial furniture from boxes
and other scrap lumber; curtains, quilts, rugs from burlap and flour sacks;
painting furniture and building trims; coverings of inexpensive materials;
collecting, painting and using wild gourds; use of native cactus wood fibers
and products; planting and arrangement of native flowers and shrubs about the
home; plants in native ollas; the home garden.
Another teacher proposed A Program For The -Educational Utilization
Of The Environment as the basis of instruction and learning in a unified
way and without separating knowledge and skills into departments such as
history, geography, reading and so forth. She proposed an integrated type
of learning which fits individual and homogenious group needs. Not only are
elemental history, geography and science correlated, but they are to be so
unified with other subjects that they shall furnish incentives for reading,
writing, drawing, computation and all that may be included in a departmental-
ized program in which knowledge and skills lose that related significance
which is of most value. This program leaves the more specifically applied
knowledges and skills to specialized departments such as home life improve-
ment; economic and social betterment and so forth.
BLACK PINNACLE LOOKOUT AT NAVAJO AGENCY IN NEW MEXICO
By Horace Boardman - I.E.C.W. Clerk
Black Pinnacle Lookout Tower
During my more than
three years connection with
the I.E.C.W. I have never
seen a more interesting and
fascinating project than the
one recently constructed "by
I .E.C.W. at Black Pinnacle.
This is a forest lookout
Black Pinnacle is
a towering mass of volcanic
rock, which thrusts itself
abruptly far above the sur-
rounding country. From its
scarred and weatherbeaten
summit an awe-inspiring view unrolls. An area covered by a million feet. of
virgin timber can he vigilantly guarded from the top of Black Pinnacle, thus
lessening the forest fire hazards in this district.
On the very tip of Black Pinnacle which has only an area of fifteen
square feet, an 8 ' x 10' frame cabin has been built. The cabin is constructed
on a base of 12" x 12" native lumber anchored into the solid rock with 30-
inch bolts. To withstand the wind pressure, the roof is securely held with
5/8" steel rods, running down parallel with the studding at each corner and
anchored into the rock. A protection guard railing made from 1^- inch pipe
and threaded with a, double line of 3/8 inch steel cable completely encircles
the cabin. The pipe comprising the guard railing posts are set into the rock
to a depth of twenty- four inches.
Before actual work on this project could be started, an approach to
the base of Black Pinnacle had to be built by cutting a steep trail several
hundred feet. All the material and tools used on this construction had to be
carried up this trail. From the base of the Pinnacle to the summit a 75-foot
stairway has been built. The first section of this stairway is anchored into
the face of the rock with steel bolts and is also supported with 6" x 6" up-
rights. Continuing another 20 feet through a narrow fissure of about 30 inches
in width, the stairway angling to the right is now chiseled out of solid rock.
After emerging from this fissure another 20 feet of stairway cut out of the
rock now angle's to the left and completes the climb. Then the glorious view
Due to the possible danger from fall-
ing objects and loose rock, it was felt best to
use only a crew of six; the foreman and the en-
tire crew were all Navajos. All drilling was
done with compressor and jackhammers, Indian
operated, and all blasting operations were car-
ried on with electric caps and detonator. The
compressor necessarily had to be situated sever-
al hundred feet below the actual field of opera-
tions, and hose and pipe were strung over the
face of the cliff.
During the entire course of construc-
tion all workmen were cautioned constantly by
their foreman to take care in handling tools
and materials while -working from such dizzy
heights so as not to endanger the workers be-
low. Working under such dangerous conditions
a single slip of the foot could have meant ser-
ious injury or death. It is a great credit to
the Navajo foreman and his all Navajo crew that
there was no accident of any kind from start to
Stairway Leading To
Black Pinnacle Tower
AWAHE IS TRANSFORMED
Awahe Yazzie is a sparkling name like Laughing Water or Minnehaha.
Awahe laughs a great deal now. But once she used to cry. Awahe has been
transformed. When Awahe was about four years old she fell into a camp fire
and the entire lower part of her body and legs were frightfully burned. Slow-
ly the burned extremities and abdomen healed with the usual formation of
strong scar tissue. Finally in desperation her people brought her in from
the desert but by this time the legs were flexed on thighs and thighs on
abdomen by masses of unyielding scar tissue. She seemed doomed to be a help-
less cripple for the rest of her life.
Four years later. The long process of replacing scars with healthy
skin and flesh begun in the Leupp Indian Hospital and was continued in the Or-
thopedic Hospital in Los Angeles. Operation followed operation, and stage by
stage her legs were straightened so that she could walk almost like other chil-
dren. Just before her discharge from the Los Angeles Hospital Awahe was taken
for her first glimpse of the ocean.
This fall Awahe entered the Leupp Boarding School,
much these days. Excerpt from a Navajo Nurse's Report.
A COMMUNITY DANCE AT DUNSEITH DAY SCHOOL
By Robert Murray - Teacher
Turtle Mountain Agency, North Dakota
A community dance in a three-room school is an undertaking. We felt
it. The Indian men "stopped by" from work to help get things in order and
almost before the seats were moved out and the floor swept, people began to
arrive. They came in wagons, cars, on foot - grandmother, mother, father and
all the children and family dogs, for no one in our country would dream of go-
ing to a dance without the whole family.
In one of the classrooms all available tables were assembled and on
these, after the time-honored custom of the frontier, the babies were packed
to sleep. In the other rooms the adults played card and checker games while
the children hung over the backs of the chairs or "wormed" their way between
groups, to pass the time away until the main crowd gathered.
The tuning of the violin to the heavy pounding of the correct note
on the piano, brought the crowd to its feet in expectation. Cards were swept
away. Blue jeans, silk and calico jostled into the plp.ce. The fiddler in
each room braced the violin on hig hip and began to play. Heels of Eight
played in double time kept the fiddlers in a frenzy. The piano in one room
and the organ in the other added to their joyous din.
When the fiddler's arm became paralyzed from his efforts, he would
shout to someone on the floor to take his place. He would then rest himself
by becoming one of the vigorously gyrating couples on the floor. The younger
generation that was home from the boarding schools demanded an occasional fox
trot but the modern procedure was colorless compared to the Rabbit Dances,
Schottische, Polkas and Reels that the older generation preferred.
The floor shook and dust rose from moccasined or booted feet and
made a golden haze about the lamps. Red handkerchiefs and sleeves mopped off
perspiring faces, but the dance never slackened. At midnight, piles of sand-
wiches, whole dishpans full of doughnuts and gallons of coffee were served.
All the women assisted in the serving and everyone ate hugely. There was much
laughter and much jocular bantering.
When the supper was over, individual jigging began. This is a spe-
cial feature of our dances. The fiddler, with the fiddle casually against his
ribs, struck up the Red River Jig. One of the best jiggers chose his partner
and began. The instant a step was repeated the crowd began to call for another
couple. When every available dancer had shown every step he knew, the regular
dancing began again and for another hour the stoves glowed through the dust
halos of Dunseith and all whirled.
It took political engineering to get the crowd home. It must have
been three o'clock before the last car coughed its' way out of the yard and
we then fell into bed. There was no doubt - the community had a dance and
there would be more.
THE BLACKFEET INDIANS BUILD ATTRACTIVE SCHOOL
By K. W. Bergan, Superintendent - Browning Public Schools, Montana
The New Library-Study Hall At New School
The Blackfeet In-
dians have demonstrated their
ability to do things in a big
way in remodeling and build-
ing an addition to the public
school at Browning, Montana.
They were one of the first
groups to accept the condi-
tions of the appropriation
made by our last Congress,
which provided for the recoup-
ment of all funds appropri-
ated by the Federal Govern-
ment. These funds, however,
were insufficient to do the
building that had been planned.
To supplement these funds a Works Progress Project was prepared a year
ago for remodeling a certain portion^of the present building. On December
26 this project was commenced after a series of delays. One of the problems
which had to be overcome involved granting permission to Indians to work on
Works Progress projects in the State of Montana. The Honorable James E.
Murray, Senator from the. State of Montana, solved this problem and the proj-
ect was carried as a one hundred per cent Blackfeet Indian project through
The skills necessary for doing- this work involved carpenters, brick-
layers, plasterers, electricians, steam fitters and foremen. They were all
provided from members of the reservation rolls. Prom an engineering point of
view, this project was very interesting because the new building was carried
on entirely within the old building and not a single day was lost because of
the weather, although the temperature would drop to fifty degrees below zero.
The old auditorium and gymnasium had become obsolete with time.
These rooms did not fit into the school program from an administrative point
of view. The space occupied by these two rooms was changed into a study hall-
library combination, a science room, a home economics room and a set of admin-
istrative offices, with a light court in the center to furnish these rooms
with light through windows instead of sky lights.
An effort was made to build into these rooms the philosophy and
spirit of the school. Each department shows a distinctive personality. The
rooms are more than four walls with windows and doors. Each was built so as
to be an attractive and cheerful place which would inspire the pupils to carry
on the work of the department.
The study hall-library combination is fitted with tables and choirs
and the walls are lined with book shelves. Pupils may use the books any time.
This room is the laboratory for mo-st of the students and they make use of the
reference books from eight o'clock in the morning until five in th» evening.
The science room is a combination of recitation room and laboratory.
The tables toward the rear of the room are placed on raised platforms so that
students at the back of the room can see the instructor' s demonstration table
without difficulty. The south wall of this room is a series of cabinets with
glass doors built into the wall for the storage of equipment. Near the front
of the room a fume hood, operated by an electric fan is built into the wall
to remove both heavy and light gases. A preparation room for the storage of
apparatus is placed near the front. This room also serves as a dark room.
The home economics laboratory is equipped for both sewing and cook-
ing. Within the laboratory you find many built-in features, such as cabinets
for storage, ironing "board, recessed hood for removing odors from the kitchen
range and so forth.
Surrounding the laboratory are a fitting room, nursing room, pantry
and laundry. The administrative offices consist of a large book storage room,
an office for pupil accounting and business, an office for conference and a
All of these rooms are finished in red oak. The walls are of Nuwood
tile in variegated colors and the floors are of white maple. The light court
in the center is large enough to provide sufficient light to make each - of these
rooms bright and cheerful.
The appropriation of sixty thousand dollars which wa« passed by
Congress in 1935 was used principally for materials and the Works Progress
Administration provided the labprers. Because the old gymnasium had been
cnanged into classrooms, it
was necessary to build a new
gymnasium. The cost of the
addition planned by the
board of trustees was esti-
mated at $70,000 and only
$40,000 of the original ap-
propriation remained for
this purpose. Again the
Works Progress Administra-
tion was asked to provide
the labor and the new proj-
ect was started on October
The New Home Economics Department
By Prank George, Roads Clerk
Colville Reservation - Washington
Progress is an army of ideas and as an army, its forward movement
is facilitated by improved highways and roads.
In the beginning, when progress was slow, a path or a trail was
enough to carry the needs of a scattered civilization. Their location served
two purposes: First, a means of communication requiring little or no labor;
second, as a means of protection. This protection was gained by following
the ridges and open ground^so that a traveler could scan the territory in
advance for any danger that might lay in wait for him and the open ground re-
quired little or no labor in trail construction
Prom these trails, our present highway system has evolved for the
entire country - on our. own reservation, every phase of this earlier tyoe of
construction is exemplified. A road must be located between more or less
fixed objectives and information must be obtained as to the permanency of
these objectives. In order to do this, the whole plan of operation of the
reservation activities and the policies of the Indian Service should be
studied if the location of the road is expected to render the best service.
With the exception of the supervising personnel of the Colville
jurisdiction, consisting of David W. Erickson, Road Engineer; Oliver W. Craney,
Road Foreman; and "Speed" Hanscom, Assistant Engineer - the personnel of Road
Division is made up entirely of Indians. Road construction work is being
carried on at both the Colville and Spokane Reservations with entirely satis-
factory results. Transportation costs to points outside the reservations have
been cut considerably with the construction of new roads and as the work oro-
gresses it won't be long before savings from this source will be fully realized.
As it is the policy of the Indian Service to develop our Indian
road men to take more and more responsibility in surveying, construction of
roads, selection of such standards of construction as are justifiable, tak-
ing into consideration the immediate needs and possible future traffic re-
quirements, we are sure that our Indians employed on road work will greatly
benefit from the training that these men are endeavoring to give them.
THE OPEN DOOR
By Erik W. Allstrom - Camp Superintendent
Consolidated Ute Agency, Colorado
Ute Men Discussing Proposed Collective Buying
Jack House ,
newly elected Chief of
the Mountain Ute Indians,
stands in the doorway of
the Agency gymnasium,
facing out across the
desert valley to Mesa
Verde, bathed in the
mellow October sunshine.
Chief Jack looks as pa-
tient and almost as time-
less as the mesa. His
keen eyes are hidden be-
hind dark glasses, his
face is immobile, express-
ing strength and sureness
of conviction, his figure
is erect, as befits the
Around him sits a group of Utes in a rough semi-circle, for the
most part silent, as they ponder the new idea. Occasionally one asks a
question or offers an opinion, and then silence as they ponder. The Chief
Near the corners of the building two or three groups of women and
children are gathered. They, too, listen with an occasional quiet word to
keep the children silent. Stretching away on all sides is the sand of the
desert and overhead the sun. The nearby Agency buildings seem to fade out
of the picture; they do not belong. It is a place to think, to ponder.
Three white men sit, also silent, in the cool shadows at the edge
of the playing floor. They have just presented a proposal by which the Moun-
tain Utes may, if they will, begin to stand on their own economic feet. As
long as anyone can remember, each household has been in debt to the limit of
his credit to nearby traders who have carried them along from year to year
on the margin of existence. The new proposal is to clear up all old debts,
to pay cash in advance into a revolving fund, from which to buy coooeratively
and at wholesale their needed foodstuff and later possibly their clothing.
They have been told that by so doing they will have more money to spend with
the traders for things which are more than the mere minimum of food and cloth-
During the past summer these Ute men tried out a little piece of
cooperative farming as an I.E.C.W. project. An irrigation ditch was dug
from the Mancos River which bubbled along under the mesa. It led, by a wooden
flume across a dry stream bed, to the side of a sloping flat beside the big
Indian Spring Arroyo. The Utes are not farmers, either by nature or training,
but under careful supervision they had planted, cooperatively, some forty
acres of watermelons, corn, tomatoes and other vegetables. After one irriga-
tion of the fields a sudden freshet carried away the flume over the dry stream
bed just when a second irrigation was needed. For lack of water the crops
burned up except for the melons and some of the corn. The watermelon crop,
however, paid for all the seed which had been bought and furnished many more
delicious melons than the tribe had ever before enjoyed.
In spite of losing the water just when it was needed most, the proj-
ect had not entirely failed and perhaps this new project of collective buying
through pooling their resources might work better because it didn't face the
hazard of flood waters and its management, again under careful supervision,
was to be in the hands of leaders of their own choosing. But there must be
full accord in the matter.
Indians reach group decisions for tribal problems much after our
idea of jury system - by unanimous agreement. They sit, in a circle, in the
sun or under the occasional tree by day, or around a fire if the matter takes
them into the night and talk, end ponder. Decision comes slowly after much
thought, each man waiting until he understands thoroughly before he gives his
final M yes M or "no." The Chief occasionally offers a word of suggestion or
explanation but for the most part he remains silent, patiently waiting for the
unanimous decision of his tribe. Once that is made, it is the work of the
Chief to see that the plan is carried out. His place it is to organize, to
administer, to supervise, to carry out the will of his people. Once the tribe
has decided, every man will
follow the Chief to the end
of the trail, come what may.
Slowly, the sun sinks behind
the red sandstone hills. Chief
Jack House still stands in the
doorway, waiting. As the eve-
ning gray settles over desert
and mesa the group breaks up
for the evening meal, to meet
again later in the gymnasium
by the white man's light in-
stead of around the fire, out
•under the stars.
■ '. ■"' "is
a- ■ •„
Part Of The Watermelon Crop
In the free-throw circles sits the Secretary at a tiny table, wait-
ing. Around the end of the room thirty-seven Ute men sit on benches auiet-
ly talking. Grouped at one corner are seven or eight colorfully wrapped
women with a number of small children, two or three in pack cradles which
lean against the corner walls. In the dim light near the farther goal, five
or six boys boisterously play Indian tag. When the session begins, they are
sent off to bed.
The first speaker is a young fellow in his twenties. He wears blue
overalls, high-heeled cow hand boots, a ten gallon hat and a startling black
silk shirt splashed with bright red roses and green leaves eight inches across,
He is the Beau Brummel of the group with a brilliant green kerchief to set
off the black collar. Very few are without a touch of color to brighten the
drab blue denim or khaki overalls. Shirts are bright, ties and kerchiefs
and blankets are of pink, or lavender, or yellow, belts and hatbands are
brightly beaded. Each speaker impresses one with the seriousness of it all;
they are busy solving collectively a life problem.
* One or two of the older men with long graying braids touched with
intertwined red, inject humorous remarks which bring spontaneous smiles or
laughter*. Only the Chief does not smile. He is waiting. Now he has an old
army overcoat to offset the snap of autumn in the night air; otherwise he is
the same impassive listener, watching from behind his black glasses.
One of the white men reads a simple form of agreement whereby the
Mountain Utes undertake to organize a cooperative buying association, to be
considered as the basis for organization. Each one, out of his I.E.C.T7. pay
check is to deduct fifteen dollars to go into the common fund. Against this
he is to have an equal amount of buying credit for the coming month, in the
form of such supplies as the group decides is desirable or necessary for the
storehouse. Each succeeding month he is to replace a sum of money equal to
the amount spent, so as to maintain his credit balance of fifteen dollars.
Two hours of Questions, answers, short talks, long silences - then,
decision. Two pages of signatures, nine of them by thumbprint. Another
sinrole type of consumers' cooperative is born. For the white men the agree-
ment is on the white man's paper: for the Utes it is now written deep in
their minds. They have pondered. They have decided.
A talk in Ute by Chief Jack House, telling his men to stop buying
illicit liquor, to play the game squarely. Then - out into the night where
a cris"o white moon picks out the protecting scarp of Mesa Verde across the
With His Apache Fiddle
By Merle Shover - Home Extension Agent
Fort Apache Agency , Arizona
The Apache fiddles are made and played only
by the older men. I have found only about a half
dozen who claim to be able to make these fiddles. The
traders say that it is quite difficult to get Apaches
to make these fiddles because they were once a cere-
monial instrument. I cannot learn just what ceremoni-
al it was, however they are not used in any ceremonial
They have always been used somewhat as we
might use a piano at home - for pleasure. Several
have told me that they used these fiddles mostly in
the evenings around the camp fire. Sometimes they
sang by them, but they never danced to the tune of
these fiddles. These are not common in the camps
now. I have never heard anybody play one except as
I bought one and asked them to show me how to play
it. (The only musical instrument I ever heard in
the camps was a victrola.) I never heard anybody
sing to these fiddles.
The fiddles are made of mescal which grows high up on the hillsides.
Some of the bark is scraped off, then the huge stalk is sawed off into lengths
of fiddles and hollowed out. The center is not as hard as wood or as pithy as
cornstalks. Some Indians saw or cut these huge stalks into two pieces so that
they can more easily scrape or cut out the center. They then glue these halves
The best fiddles are those around which the player can reach with
his hand comfortably and play by. fingering the string or strings of horsehair
which are strung tightly along the center of the top. There is a wooden stick
at the end of the fiddle around which one end of the hair is tied. This stick
can be twisted as a violin peg is, and the strings tightened or loosened. Two
tiny pieces of wood hold the strings off the main body of the fiddle as a
bridge on a violin.
Some of the pith or inner part of the fiddle is returned to the end
of the fiddle to give better sound. Often the maker puts pitch made from the
pinion tree on the end so that he has it handy to "rosin" his bow before play-
ing the instrument. The fiddles are painted blue, green and always some red.
These paints may be white man's paints or the makers may use some of their na-
tive plants. An interpreter told me that they often used a juice made by-
pounding the roots or ends of the stiff green stalks of the soao weed to which
was added a powder made "by grinding two red rocks together.
The bows are made of wood with horsehair. I have been told that
they used to make fiddles with more than one string, but all that I have seen
or -ourchased here the past year have been ones with only one "string 1
grout) of horsehairs.
The fiddles in the -oicture were made by various men in different
parts of the reservation. The man in the picture is John Bourke , who won
first prize with his fiddle at the Fair last year. That one was sold. Mr.
Bourke is a blacksmith for the Agency.
He is shown with the fiddle which fitted his hand best and which
made the best tone. Some of the fiddles, he said, were too thin, others too
thick to give the be^t tone. The proper thickness is about one-half to three-
fourths of an inch.
The San Carlos Indians make these fiddles also. They sell for about
$1.00 to $1.50, although unusual ones have brought much more.
There are many words in the Navajo language which a.re descriptive
in meaning. When they are translated into English, some of them sound odd
to us who are used to expressing our thoughts in the white man's way. Here
are some words which are interesting to translate:
Saddle - means horse's pack in Navajo .... A wave - is the water's
snine ... Coal - means the rock that burns ... The ocean - means wide water
... A locomotive - means fire makes it go ... A grapevine - is the weed that
winds ... A mule - is long ears to a Navajo ... A scale or weight - means sus-
pended to a Navajo because of the fact that the first traders had hand scales.
In weighing a bundle, they first tied it and then hung it on the scale to
weigh it ... A turtle - is that which is tired v.. Crackers - means square
bread in Navajo . . .
Candy - means twisted because so much of the first candy they saw
was twisted ... Sugar - is sweet salt because it looks so much like salt ...
Soda pop - means the water that bubbles, because of the carbonated water in
it ... Five cents - means one yellow and ten cents one blue because of the
Civil War paper money once in use ... Onions - means the plant that has an
odor ... A tomato - is the plant that is red. Taken from Kerley News .
FROM I.E.C.W. REPORTS
Truck Trail Constructio n At
Fort Berthold ( North Dakota ) We
have completed another quarter mile
of grading on this truck trail*
working with the dozer and "blade.
We had some trouble with our cater-
pillar this week.
We think we have found the real
trouble and hope that it will not
bother us again so -that such things
will not delay our work. We set in
two eighteen-inch culverts and also
cut and peeled and set eight culvert
guide posts. Byr on H. Wilde .
Activit ies At Cherokee ( North
Carolina ) December first we started
digging horse trail below the mouth
of Stillwell Creek to Tooni branch
and Bunches Creek. The mountain is
steep and rocky most of the way. I
think we can make it all right. We
have gone through the worst part of
it this week. The weather was cold.
We worked harder than usual to keep
warm so we made good progress this
week. Joe Wolfe , Foreman .
This week the work has been on
so many different projects that it
is very difficult to give an accurate
description of it. The bulldozer and
grader crew are still working on the
Washington Creek Truck Trail. The
jackhammer and A. C. tractor which
were out of commission were repaired.
We also completed one and one-half
miles of telephone line. Thursday all
the I.E.C.W. crew visited the state
of Mr. R. H. Kress where we were shown
different species of timber and the
way the trees were cared for. We had
a great time and also obtained a great
deal of very useful information.
Jarre tt Bly the , Foreman .
Work At Pipestone ( Minnesota ) The
dead trees have been cut down and
hauled away from the tree lot on the
school campus. The boundary fence
was completed this week. The Indian
men were happy to have work to do and
they have shown fine skill in fence
building. The men also continued to
work on fire hazard reduction, but
were handicapped by cold weather and
snow. J. W. Balmer , Superintendent •
Range Revegetation at Seminole
( Florida ) Very satisfactory weath-
er conditions prevailed throughout
the week and we had no loss in that
respect. Good weather conditions
are required in this section of the
country in order to accomplish a
full day's work. The country is low
and covered by dense vegetation and
the logs that are required to be re-
moved from the land under the Range
Revegetation project are very heavy
and difficult to move under wet
weather conditions. Both fence and
maintenance work went forward with
no interruptions as have been experi-
enced during the rainy seasons.
Merle V. Mooney , Deputy Disbursing
Pack Trail Work at Consolidated
Ute ( Colorado ) The Navajo Canyon
Pack Trail will connect with Horse
Springs Trail. We are using the
bulldozer on the lower part, or ap-
proximately half the distance of this
trail in order to get to this point
by wagon or track, saving the ne-
cessity of packing camps and water
developing equipment, as we have some
water development projects at this
point. Progress has been very good
this_ week with 1^- milee of trail
"built. Lee Jekyll , Foreman ■
The Office Building Completed
At Alabama & Coushatta ( Texas ) The
offi'oe building has been completed
here and we are very proud of it.
It certainly is a relief to get the
office out of our home, and to have
everything conveniently arranged in-
stead of having it all jumbled up to-
gether in a space far too small. While
the new office is not large, it will
serve the purpose nicely and is ade-
quate for our needs at the present
The double garage will provide
nice storage space for the small truck
we have now and the large one "when we
get it, so that good care can be tak-
en of them. Several posts were
placed in the garages to serve as
bumpers in the event that the trucks
are not brought to a stop at the prop-
er time and collide with the wall.
The porch provides a nice waiting room
for the men as it is on the south and
protected from the cold north wind.
A drinking fountain has been placed at
the edge of the porch for their con-
About $250 of State funds were
spent on the building for labor and
materials in addition to the expendi-
ture from ECW funds. An experienced
carpenter was employed to supervise
the construction. As the Indians have
had no building experience except on
log houses, they are crude workmen.
A built-in cabinet 2 1 x 7"' is used
to store all forms, stationery, trans-
fer cases and the picture show mach-
ine. A small cabinet under the flue
is used for my agriculture books, In--
dians At Work and other reference
books. The office is entered by a
small vestibule from which the In-
dians transact their business through
a pay window. This is a very conven-
ient arrangement, especially when the
ECW men are paid off.
The two desks were built and
fastened to the wall. My desk under
the pay window is four feet long, with
a wall cabinet on my left. Grocery
lists and so forth may be pushed
through a slot in the wall after of-
fice hours when there is no one in
the office to receive them and will
land in a box on my desk. Two fire
extinguishers have been added to the
equipment. The approximate cost of
this building is between $750 and
$775. J. E. Farley , Indian Agent.
Erosion Control At Rosebud -( South
Dakota ) ^ankton Reservation - This
crew is plowing and shaping up con-
tour furrows on the erosion control
project being carried on at this
Agency. The weather has been some-
what unsettled but the work is pro-
gressing very well. The men are tak-
ing a keen interest in the work and
are anxious to see how the furrows
will work when the rainy season is
on. The same interest is expressed
by the Indian community as a whole
and by many white farmers. It is be-
lieved that this project will make
a very good demonstration. E.J. Rose ,
Machine Operator .
Activities At Shoshone (Wyoming )
This week the men built a mile of
fence over very rough country. The
men did not get through with the fence
between Hudson and Beaver Creek as
we thought they would. By next week
they should get through. The team
was layed off at the end of the
week and the trucks will he ahle to
haul the posts to the fence line.
Two trucks from the Agency hauled
posts to our camp. These posts will
he used from Beaver Creek to Twin
Thanksgiving Day was observed
with an excellent dinner which was
prepared by our cook. The menu con-
sisted of turkey, dressing, mashed
potatoes, pies, cake, candy, nuts,
cranberries and ice cream. All the
men enjoyed the meal. Friday night
our basket ball team played the team
from Owl Creek. Our team was defeat-
ed. The score was 26 and 14. T. J.
Diverson Dam Construction At
Fort Belknap ( Montana ) Construc-
tion of large diversion work on the
Suction Creek Diversion went along
very well. A small crew worked on
the forms for the head gates of the
Storage Reservoir. The Box Elder
Creek Storage Reservoir has been
completed and will need only to be
riprapped. Seven men and nine teams
worked through the week on Dam No.
105. Ed Archarabault.
us to have a successful event of the
Jake Herman, the Boss- In -Charge
of 122-232 has stated that he sure
feels peeved because he had not been
notified of the buffalo killing event.
He says, "If I could have been there,
I would have given a demonstration
of how my grandfather used to kill
them things in the days of yore."
Benjamin Chief .
Work At Colville ( Washington )
Gold Lake Truck Trail: The rock work
on this project has been started.
Earl Hall brought a compressor in
from the Yakima Reservation and is
operating it. The drilling is pro-
gressing nicely and Earl reports that
the rock drills comparatively easy.
We hope to be able to complete this
work in time to avoid the stormy
Road Side Clearing: The brush
crew has been doing exceotionally well
On the road side clean-up. Walter
Moomaw, the steady young man that is
in charge, is an exception and be-
lieves in doing a piece of work well
and his work is well done. This proj-
ect will be completed soon. Just at
this time the crew is close to the
summit of our objectiTC on this proj-
Buffalo Killings At Pine Ridge
( South Dakota) We had a great day
on the date of the 26th of last month
for the reason that we haa another one
of those buffalo killings that we
have now and then. Mr. Getty, the
Senior Project Manager, gave the men
that witnessed the affair some super
marksmanship. He proved that he is
as good a rifleman as he is a good
Project Manager. We wish to express
our gratitude to those that enabled
Omak Creek Graveling: The grav-
eling project is well under way. Ev-
erything is working just right. The
truck drivers take very good care of
their trucks. The gravel is of a good
quality and there is plenty of it.
Joseph A. Kohler.
The Rodent Control crew is cover-
ing quite a large area of ground with
their poisoned carrots. Here is good
luck to them! George Mensy .
SNOW SCENE IN MONTANA
Photogranh lay U. S. Forest Service
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION LIBRARIES
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